What Is Collaborative Law?
Collaborative law is an approach to resolving legal disputes focused on working together to come to a resolution. Many people elect to go the collaborative route as it can help them avoid court litigation and allows them to have more control over the outcome. Collaborative law offers clients options for alternative dispute resolution and is becoming more prevalent in family law cases.
Divorces tend to be very difficult in both an emotional and a literal sense. The divorce process is frequently marked by stress, frustration, and emotional hardship. When a couple decides to end their union, many issues must be worked out, and things can turn ugly very quickly. Collaborative divorce offers an alternative that may reduce stress and refocus the process in a more positive direction.
Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of a collaborative divorce.
Reframe Your Divorce and Avoid the Win-Lose Dynamic
One of the greatest benefits of taking a collaborative law approach to a divorce is that it gives couples the opportunity to reframe what is typically a very painful situation into one that is focused on a mutually beneficial outcome. This is accomplished by collaborative law’s emphasis on working together to negotiate divorce terms.
Before a couple begins the collaborative divorce process, they must sign a Collaborative Participation Agreement. This document attests that both parties agree to proceed and act in good faith during the divorce process and honestly exchange income and financial records. This document helps both parties stay focused on achieving the best possible outcome and can help foster a win-win dynamic instead of an antagonistic or competitive win-lose dynamic.
Potential Reduction in Costs & Fees Associated with a Divorce
Divorce litigation can be very time-consuming and costly. Many couples decide to go the collaborative divorce route because it can be significantly less expensive than a traditional divorce. The reduced cost of a collaborative divorce is largely due to the fact that disputes can be resolved much more quickly and smoothly when using the collaborative law method.
Preparing for divorce litigation takes time, and this can greatly increase your legal fees. Furthermore, when you do not have to go to court to litigate your divorce settlement, you also do not have to pay as many court fees.
Maintain Control Over Your Divorce Settlement
When you take your divorce case to court to be litigated, you lose a lot of control over the outcome of your case. While your attorney will fight for you, at the end of the day, you are at the mercy of the courts. This loss of control can be very stressful for people, and it can lead to an acrimonious situation or create more hard feelings between yourself and your former spouse. When utilizing the collaborative law method, both parties are actively involved and invested in negotiating the divorce settlement.
As part of the collaborative divorce process, both parties agree to share neutral, third-party experts when negotiating key issues, such as property division. They also agree to an open, honest exchange of information. The benefit of this is that both parties receive an unbiased, fair assessment of their financial situation, a common source of strife during traditional divorce cases.
Establish a Positive Coparenting Relationship
Another benefit to the collaborative law divorce method is that it gives divorcing couples with children the opportunity to begin establishing a positive coparenting relationship. As part of the divorce process, you and your child’s other parent will have to come to a custody agreement and will need to establish a parenting plan. Because the collaborative process is focused on developing a fair and equitable settlement, it can help parents stay on track with what matters: the well-being of their children.
Instead of feeling like you must fight with your former spouse for custody, you can instead work together to develop a visitation schedule designed to give your children the support and stability they need. It also allows parents the chance to work through other important parenting issues, such as how holidays will be shared or how they will handle future disagreements on key issues like schooling and medical care.
To find out if a collaborative law divorce is right for your situation, reach out to Hunt Law Firm. Our attorneys are prepared to help you today.